Dr Michael Mosley shares opinion on NHS paying ?360 for people …
Dr Michael Mosley has spoken on the feasibility of the NHS paying dieters up to £360 to lose weight to relieve stress on the service. The diet guru and founder of the wildly popular Fast 800 programme, explains how he went from thinking it is a terrible idea to 'this may actually work'.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Dr Mosley describes how the findings of a recent study may inform how the NHS evolves its policies. The health expert said: "A recent study has shown that paying people to hit weight-loss targets leads to twice as much weight loss, over the course of a year, as standard approaches."
Cash prizes for hitting targets ranged from £250 to £360 and had a big impact on how participants in the study performed. Obesity costs the NHS £6billion annually, a figure which is expected to rise to more than £9.7 billion each year by 2050.
The study by NYU Grossman School of Medicine recruited 668 very overweight men and women who lived in households earning around $40,000 (£32,600) a year, roughly the average household income in the UK.
Split into three groups, the people who were given a financial incentive to lose weight, on average, lost twice as much weight as the group who weren't given any cash rewards.
Though Dr Mosley writes he can't imagine the NHS will be overtly offering large sums of money, he believes making healthier food cheaper could be the answer.
He says: "While I can't see the NHS offering people cash to shed kilos, that doesn't mean the Government couldn't do more to shape people's behaviour through more subtle financial incentives, such as subsidising healthy foods and taxing unhealthy foods."
- ^ Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)